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Author Notes: First developed as a take-it-to-school lunch for my older son when he was taking an extra college course nearby five summers ago, this now provides inspiration for the occasional basket suppers Mr. T and I enjoy when the weather is good and the days are long. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames
Serves 1, but can be scaled
- 1 small Persian cucumber, cut into ½” dice
- 1 small heirloom tomato, or an equivalent amount of cherry or grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice, or couscous, or any whole grain (See note below.)
- ½ recipe of Olive Salad
- 1 slice each of salami, mortadella and prosciutto or coppacolla, cut into bite sized strips
- 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
- ½ cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 slices of fresh mozzarella
- Red or green leaf lettuce, washed and dried (optional)
The Olive Salad
- ¼ cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon each of fresh oregano, marjoram and basil leaves (or any one or two of them)
- 12 green olives with pimento
- 8 black Kalamata olives, pitted
- 4 cornichons
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons of good, fruity olive oil
- Small pinch of sugar (optional, if your vinegar is a bit too sharp)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- MAKE THE OLIVE SALAD: Finely chop the herbs, olives, cornichons and shallot, in that order. I start with the parsley and other herbs because it's easier to chop them with a dry knife. Then I put them to one side while cutting the other ingredients. Then I bring all the piles together and chop everything at once. This muddles the herbs nicely, too.
- Put the mixture into a wide-mouthed jar and add the vinegar and oil. Let it sit for a few minutes, then taste it and add a pinch of sugar if the vinegar seems too sharp.
- Add freshly ground pepper, to taste.
- N.B.: This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled. It holds for at least four days; it probably will keep for longer.
- This is also delicious spooned over a piece of fresh mozzarella, atop a lightly toasted thin slice of a baguette, or stirred into an omelet.
- The Basket Supper
- In a wide-mouth Mason jar, layer the ingredients in the order given. You do it this way so that the olive salad drizzles down to coat the rice mixture, and then combines with the juices from the vegetables to create an outstanding dressing.
- When ready to eat, stir everything together (preferably in a larger bowl or on a plate) and eat.
- Serve with cold water and follow it with fresh fruit or a seasonal fruit-based dessert.
- Enjoy!! ;o)
- N.B. The lettuce is optional. Make sure you dry it carefully before adding it, if you don’t care for soggy lettuce.
- About the rice: We usually use something called "Brown Rice Medley," available at Trader Joe's. It's made of long-grain brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds. That's what is pictured in the photo. ;o)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brown Bag Lunch